HC Deb 16 February 1999 vol 325 cc645-6W
Mr. Ernie Ross

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the White Paper on improving Scotland's health will be published; and if he will make a statement. [71997]

Mr. Dewar

The White Paper "Towards a Healthier Scotland" is being published on 17 February. Copies will be laid before the House and will be available in the Library of the House and the Vote Office.

The White Paper sets out the Government's strategy for improving health for all in Scotland, and builds on the positive response to the Green Paper "Working Together for a Healthier Scotland", published in February 1998.

Our drive to better health includes a coherent attack on the roots of ill health such as poverty, unemployment, and a polluted environment, combined with action to encourage healthier lifestyles and to address Scotland's key health problems. An over-arching aim is to tackle health inequalities. There is a specific focus on measures to improve the health of children and on new initiatives against Scotland's 2 major killing diseases—cancer and coronary heart disease. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of a concerted approach to health improvement across Government, and involving the National Health Service, local authorities, voluntary and other bodies whose policies and actions impact on health.

From 1 July 1999 this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.